Tuesday, December 22, 2009



No really, seriously??

Okay, I need advise in a BIG way!

Back story: You see, we have this coffee table (see pic below). It *was* once strategically placed in the middle of our living room; comfortably spaced between our 2 couches and chair and ottoman. It *had* three pretty ceramic candle sticks staggered in the middle with ivory candles on top. I *used* to burn those pretty little candles when guests *would* come over! My picture albums and gossip mags *were* underneath for a quick glance or read.


That same coffee table is pushed up against my fireplace in an effort to protect our 1 year old twin boys from the fireplace cover that is unsecured and about 30+ pounds. Those pretty ceramic candlesticks are high up on my mantel away from sticky fingers. The books/magazines were replaced with puzzles and scattered puzzle pieces. The top of the coffee table has battle wounds from Jack banging his toys on it. Yes, it is a sight for sore eyes.


I know what you are thinking. Yes, I agree, the coffee table should simply be removed from our home.

But, here is my problem. The fireplace cover. It is unsecured. I know, I know. Secure it. Problem solved. Well, I am told I can't. My husband thinks he is the only one that can do it. However, he has come home 2 or 3 multiple times with a hardware bag full of materials to fix the problem yet the problem has not been fixed! I am not even positive he has really even attempted to fix it. I think he uses this as an excuse to escape the madness of a Saturday at home with two one year olds! Believe me, I have my own excuses! I digress...

Back to my "other problem".

So, now I have this banged up coffee table pushed up against the unsecured fireplace cover. It was going well until.......the boys learned to CLIMB! Now I am constantly pulling them down. Honestly, today was not a good day. I resorted to a spanking and multiple time outs. Which did NOTHING. This resulted in us (me) having some alone time while the boys listened unhappily to music in their cribs because I thought I might actually lose it. I know that spanking is just not the solution.

Well, tonight I decided to do my research. The modern way, WWW!

No, not for how to secure a fireplace cover, but in an attempt to wait for my husband to fix it, how to discipline and teach a toddler to stay off the furniture.

I was so excited when I stumbled upon a site that seemed like it would help. It lured me in by proclaiming there were just three easy steps to keeping toddlers off of furniture. Well, my excitement quickly ceased because this is what it read:


Things You'll Need:

  • Saw
  • Tarp
  • Safety Goggles
  1. Step1

    Go into your garage and grab a saw. Be sure to grab some tarp and safety goggles while you are in there. Yes, a saw. Now, don't forget the tarp and goggles, easyclean up and safety are very important.

  2. Step2

    Now line up all your furniture on top of the tarp with legs over 5 inches high. Anything 5 inches high or lower poses no real risk to a falling little one. Make sure to place the items legs up.

  3. Step3

    One in one fell swoop, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, slash through all the legs with your saw. Problem solved! Now your toddler will not have access to those pesky tables and chairs.

    And this is where the "SERIOUSLY" comes in.

    Seriously, this is where WWW. got me??

    Okay, mommy-friends out there! Help! How can I teach my curious, push-the-limit toddlers to stay down from the coffee table until my husband fixes our fireplace cover??

    And don't say a squirt bottle of water!! hee hee. Yes, I have thought of that!!

    My living room. The mantel. The fireplace cover. The coffee table. Undestructed at the moment:


  1. Thinking about trying to redirect them to climb on the couch??!! Hmm.. More safe and at least they can still climb. Going to try it tomorrow! :)

  2. OMG...you are so no alone in this. My little one started crawling at 4 months and by 4.5 months, she discovered she could climb. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of frustration and redirection.

    We also tried moving a coffee table, but she saw it as a jungle gym.

    Two suggestions:

    Get a large gate and block off that part of the fireplace. We had to do something similar with a very, very large bookshelf that was prime climbing real estate.

    2nd, we covered the top of the exposed brick edges on our fireplace with that soft foam. This served two purposes. It protected her from those sharp edges and it seemed to grab her attention more than anything on the fireplace. Now that she's older, she still tries to climb on the fireplace, but when we mention HOT to her, she is afraid of going near.

    Here's to hoping your husband figures out a way to secure it soon. Nothing like an accident to be a motivator, unfortunately. Several items that weren't as secured have resulted in a scratch on my daughter, where she learned to not touch things, but also we learned to not wait to secure things.

    Good luck and good job for removing yourself for a few moments to gather yourself!

  3. Maybe Jim Fay's Love and Logic "uh-oh" routine. Of course, that doesn't always work for me and I only have one little monkey. however, you may be able to redirect the kiddos to the couch instead. How did it go?

  4. Well, here are my thoughts. I have been through it with Duncan, and am going through it now. Claire is a big climber. Have you taught them how to climb down? They are pretty quick learners and at least if they know how to get down you don't have to totally freak out. You really can't keep them off, sorry to say. But, it is temporary. This will pass. So, in the mean time, to make it easier on yourself, just remove the temptation. You might have to duct tape that fireplace cover to the wall or something. I know it's ugly, but again, it's temporary. I have no tablecloths on anything, so anyone who comes over sees my ugly, scratched tables. I don't have a coffee table. Can you keep them out of that room all together? Just gate it off? Don't want to start anything 'round here, but you are right. Spanking wont work. Have you read Happiest Toddler on the Block? Great stuff. Harvey Karp. Not sure if he says alot about discipline because (here's the hard part) you really can't discipline a one year old. Until they are two, nothing works. You just have to redirect them, or distract them. Good luck! Wish I had better answers!